Do you build WordPress websites? Perhaps your own strength is in marketing or design, so you need to hire someone to do the PSD to WordPress conversion. There is plenty of advice around the web on where to look for WordPress freelancers, and what different freelancing platforms specialize in.
The problem is, if you’re looking through one or more freelancing platforms, this still leaves you with dozens of WordPress freelancers to choose from. Sure, plenty of them could be great for your project — but the difference between one good developer and another is probably not big enough to spend a huge amount of time interviewing people. What would be better is an approach that allows you to quickly narrow the pool to a small number of candidates that are all very likely to be a solid fit for your project.
Look for “development standards”
Any good freelancer should have a website, and if they have a website they have a portfolio. Skip that (or at least skim it). Instead, scan the website for something that sounds like “development standards.” It should be a page that provides a detailed description of how the developer typically implements the PSD to WordPress conversion, barring specific requests from the customer. If they don’t have that, you should toss them out of consideration.
Won’t I miss out on good WordPress freelancers?
Yes, you will. But more importantly, the ones you are left with are very likely to all be good. And you have a lot fewer interviews to do.
Why are development standards such a valuable signal of a good developer? With front-end WordPress development, the devil is really in the details. A high-quality website built properly to generate conversions must be optimized for loading time, user-friendliness, SEO, and security. Unfortunately, whether a developer has actually done these things can’t be seen from a glossy screenshot on a portfolio page.
Are there specific practices I should look out for?
Here are a few examples of standards that suggest your WordPress freelancer understands what matters in building a high-quality website:
- Images optimized by type: JPEG for photographs, PNG for design graphics (e.g. logos, infographics), image compression plugin used (for loading time)
- Only one set of <H1> tags per page or post, around the title (for SEO)
- Custom fields are generated in Dashboard to allow easy updating by non-technical users (for user-friendliness)
- Only well-known, frequently updated plugins implemented (for security)
The bottom line
Look, if you know what you need to deliver to your client, you already know all of those details that are essential to a well-functioning WordPress website. (Probably because you know all the scary data on sales and conversions about the effects of slow websites or sites that aren’t set up to properly maximize SEO.) If push comes to shove, you could tell your WordPress freelancer exactly what needs doing. But wouldn’t it be nice to just not have to explain or double-check that every single one gets done?